It’s the fake recovery, stupid. Despite lavish talk of an economic “recovery”, consumer confidence has remained low. Unlike the 1% who are seeing their wealth climb higher on the back of juiced financial markets and tax cheating the average American is living outside the plutonomy in a more limited world. In that world the new jobs pay an average of 23% less than the ones lost during the recession caused by Wall Street. In that world people still live paycheck to paycheck with little possibility for a more prosperous future.

The report by the Conference of Mayors notes how precarious and unrewarding the labor market is for wage earners post-recession. With the replacement of manufacturing and construction jobs by hospitality and healthcare jobs the wages have significantly decreased. And perhaps more notably, in a slow growing economy with less unionization employers have considerably more power on setting the terms of work.

The U.S. economy this year recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession, but the new jobs pay an average of 23% less than the ones lost in the downturn, according to a new analysis…

From 2005 to 2012, the top 20% of earners were responsible for more than 60% of all income gains in the country, the report said. By contrast, the bottom 40% saw only 6.6% of the increases. That continues the trend toward income inequality — one that the report’s authors contend will be a hallmark of the U.S. economy for years to come.

So our economic “recovery” is actually exacerbating inequality. The very people who caused the recession through reckless greed and fraud have gotten even richer. What a country.

But don’t worry Wall Street is increasingly concerned with the 99%’s wages – they worry their wages are too high. The worry for the banksters is that any increase in wages could lead to higher inflation which could increase interest rates and subsequently lower stock prices. And we can’t have that can we?